The Emperor's Key

Buffy decided that she would never be able to understand her sister. In the three months since she returned from the future Dawn would spend almost all of her time reading the watchers diaries and discussing philosophy with Giles, often exchanging ideas that would give Buffy headaches.

It didn't take long for them to leave Rome after what happened there. Spike refused to leave the two of them and all three packed up and headed to England, at first living with Giles and then close by in Bath. Angel and Illyria went back to America to continue "Angel Investigations" a few days before they moved while Willow and Kennedy stayed for a bit longer. No one else was really happy with Spike staying, save Dawn, but no one was willing to force Buffy to push him away.

In fact Dawn slyly encouraged Spike to stay, often suggesting that if he did leave Buffy might fall to bad habits again and somehow kept finding ways to leave the two of them alone when it was she who they both wanted to talk to… After three months Buffy gave up questioning, mainly because Dawn's half answers left more questions but she also began to feel odd.

It was early one morning and for the second time that week Buffy was sick. Stumbling out of the bathroom she almost walked into Dawn. 'Morning.' The still younger woman said with an evil twinkle in her eyes.

'It's far too early for you to be this happy.' Buffy grumbled.

'Are you alright? It looks like your putting on some weight.'

Buffy grunted as a response and made her way down the stairs and made herself a three course breakfast. Dawn kept up with the almost false sympathy, noting that it was little wonder Buffy was ill eating such and such with that. Buffy simply ignored her, sooner or later she would give up.

Eventually Spike came down from her room. Buffy hoped Dawn still thought he had his own, some things were best kept secret. Everything settled down after Buffy had finished eating. Dawn headed of to college where she was studying ancient histories and philosophy while Spike sat down with a pen and paper. The reaction when Spike admitted that he was once a poet was still fresh in Buffy's memory, now that he was trying to fit back into that life as a hobby it wasn't as funny. Surprisingly he was quite good.

Buffy on the other hand was still looking for a paying job. Thanks to Giles being the new head of the Watchers the once untouchable funds were used to pay for most of the things Buffy needed, except a life other than near constant slayage. On this day, however, Buffy didn't have the energy to find work and spent the day resting.

The next day Buffy did the same morning ritual, Spike became worried as once again she flopped on a chair after breakfast. 'Buffy, I know you aren't feeling too well. Do you think you need a doctor?'

'No! No I'm just tired. I've got a cold or something. No big.' By lunch time she hadn't really moved, she slept a little but only in fits and starts. Spike decided to do something.

'Hello? Red?'

'Spike,' she answered from the other end of the phone line. 'How are you?'

'I'm fine Red, so is the mysterious one, but Buffy's under the weather.'

'Is she alright.'

'She says it's a cold or something but I don't think so.'

'I'm 'porting over there.'

'No, don't. Just fly over, in a plane. No reason just to see how we're doing if you catch my drift.'

'Alright but it's the first plane I can get.' Concern laced her voice.

'Thanks.' And he hung up. That night, like the night before the slayer didn't patrol for long, or at all really. Concerned Spike knocked on Dawn's door when Buffy was asleep.

'What is it Spike?'

He opened the door and walked in 'How did you know it was me.'

'No one else would have knocked.'

'I don't think our slayer is well.'

She snorted with laughter 'You two are as thick as each other. Give it some time, she'll get better. Trust me.'

'Are you sure?'

'Spike, I promise you in six or seven months she'll be fine. Better than fine. Until then, Congratulations Spike. You're a father.' He didn't know what happened next, before he woke up slumped on a chair in Buffy's room.

Buffy was already battling with a bout of morning sickness so he got up and headed to the kitchen. Determined to make the mother to be the best meal of her life. He was still cooking it when Willow came in.

Willow entered the house and was hit by the smell of cooking. Making her way to the kitchen she found Spike whistling a strange tune as he half skipped from one pan to another. 'Oh hello Willow, sit down I'll make you something.' He started whistling again.

'Spike where's Buffy?' Willow didn't expect Spike to be this happy especially with Buffy sick.

'She'll be down in a minute. I have something to tell her. I can't believe I didn't realise it before!'

'Realise what exactly?'

Spike span around and half carried the young witch away, twirling her around with his finger tips as he danced with joy 'I'll tell you later.' He laughed before depositing her on a chair and dancing out of the room and for the stairs.

Dawn came in from the living room. 'I see Spike called you.'

'Hi Dawn, yes he was worried, yesterday, but now…'

'He's got some good news.' Dawn turned off the cooker and found a seat.

Only a few seconds later Spike came in carrying Buffy in his arms, she was obviously having fun but stopped laughing when she saw Willow was there. 'Will! What are you doing here?'

'Hadn't heard from you for a while thought I would see how you guys were.'

'Fine. We're all fine.' Buffy responded a bit two quickly as Spike put her down.

'Better than fine love.' Spike said before he kissed her. Willow was startled at the show of affection and it lasted a bit longer than it should have if Buffy was really as disgusted as she lamely pretended to be. Cold suspicion clawed at her.

Spike deftly produced several plates of food for Buffy who went for them like a starving woman. Willow didn't have to read anyone's aura to put it together. 'Buffy!' she gasped 'Goddess! Why didn't you tell me.'

'What?' she asked between mouthfuls.

Dawn lent forward and whispered far too loudly, 'She doesn't know yet.'

'Know what?' Buffy demanded over Willows laughter.

'Come on love. Your eating for two now!' Spike produced another plate. His statement took a moment to register as Buffy brought another forkful of food to her mouth only to spit it out.

'No! NO, NO, NO, NO! I am not. No way I can't be…' Everyone else laughed as Buffy smiled so much that she couldn't speak any more.

As time made its stately march forward Spike and Buffy told their friends what was happening, while Xander and Giles were angry at first they eventually accepted. Shortly before the child was born Spike proposed to Buffy. No one was going to pretend that it was going to be a perfect marriage but, as Spike explained, '…that's what makes things interesting isn't it.'

Dawn stayed in the background. With Buffy and Spike the centre of attention she could start work on certain projects, preparing herself for what was coming. After the customary time nature took its course and the end result was a healthy baby boy.

On the night of his birth Dawn snuck into the hospital and then the maternity ward. Opening the door to the crèche she tried not to anticipate what she would see. She easily found the child, and as she approached his eyes opened wide. He looked at her with some form of understanding, she smiled back at him. 'Hello my little nephew. The world welcomes you, Emperor of mankind.'

The End

Final Disclaimers

(Sometimes the legal bit kills you…)

Everything in this story is owned by other people. Games Workshop owns the copyrights to:- "Space Wolves", "Adeptus Astartes", "Space Marine" "Primarchs", "The Emperor", "Khorne", "Bloodthirstier", "Slaanesh", "Chaos Gods", "World Eaters", "Logan Grimnar", "Ulrik the Slayer", "Njal Stormcaller", "Psyber-Raven", "Wolf Priest" ,"Rune Priest", "Magnus", "Imperium", "Necrons", "C'tan", "The Warp", "The Old Ones", "Eldar", "Warhammer 40,000", "40K" and any and all concepts connected to any of the above.

20th Century Fox/Mutant Enemy Inc owns Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and all other connected material.

Mgm/Gecko owns Stargate SG1 and all connected material.

Where any of the above ideas, characters or concepts overlap is purely the product of my imagination and should be considered as separate entities/ideas when regarding copyrights.


Thanks to everyone who read this story and to everyone who reviewed. Including "Cockmaster" who attempted to give some life enhancing advice, I will take that little lot under advisement.

Special thanks to "huh", who, without their knowledge, helped me realise my own ideas for this story (If you want to "Bata" the companion story E-mail me and I'll send you the first chapter when its done, my address in in my bio).

And an extra special thanks to Games Workshop for not suing me back to the stone age (yet).

Thomas Fishwick
A.k.a. Mountain King
November 2004